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Dreaming Big

Nobel Peace Prize-Winner Desmond Tutu presents a personal and life-changing spirituality in his first inspirational work for a general audience, God Has A Dream: A Vision of Hope for Our Time

“Goodness will prevail, he believes, and his small, inspiring, empowering book will make others believe that too.”
— Booklist

In our age of terrorist attacks and homeland security alerts, of nuclear weapons in the hands of rogue nations, of ethnic and religious conflicts seemingly without end, and of unemployment and economic hardship closer to home, many feel that we live in frightening and bleak times. “I write these words because we all experience sadness, we all come at times to despair, and we all lose hope that the suffering in our lives and in our world will ever end,” writes Nobel Laureate Desmond Tutu in the introduction to God Has A Dream: A Vision of Hope for Our Time (Maui Media, $24.95; Audio Book/4 CDs; Doubleday, $16.95; Hardcover).

In this book, his most soul-searching yet, Archbishop Tutu reaches out to readers of all religious backgrounds with his characteristic warmth and empathy. He recognizes suffering around the world today, the seeming darkness of our time, and he writes, “Our world is in the grips of a transformation that continues forward and backward in ways that lead to despair at times and ultimately redemption.”

Tutu not only draws from his strong faith but also interweaves throughout the text his own experience helping to address and rectify the injustices of Apartheid in South Africa. After he retired as the Archbishop of Cape Town in 1996, President Nelson Mandela named Tutu Chairman of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, the organization charged with bringing to light the atrocities of South African Apartheid. Tutu’s hope he says is “not wishful thinking or groundless belief” but based in his reading of history and human nature. In God Has A Dream he addresses many timely issues, not only that of religious tolerance, but also the acceptance of gay & lesbian love, the injustice of sexism, and the need to embrace and understand our sexuality as the gift of our creativity.

Having personally witnessed evil, oppression, and enmity, Tutu offers an extremely personal and liberating message, encouraging readers to cultivate the love, forgiveness, humility, and generosity, and courage necessary to change ourselves and our world.

Similarly he is not an optimist. “Optimism relies on appearances and very quickly turns into pessimism when the appearances change. I see myself as a realist, and the vision of hope I want to offer you in this book is based on reality—the reality I have seen and lived.”

Echoing the words of Martin Luther King, Jr., Tutu writes: “God says to you ‘I have a dream. Please help me to realize it. It is a dream of a world whose ugliness and squalor and poverty, this war and hostility, its greed and harsh competitiveness, its alienation and disharmony are changed into their glorious counterparts. When there will be more laughter, joy, and peace, where there will be justice and goodness and compassion and love and caring and sharing, I have a dream that my children will know that they are members of one family, the human family, God’s family, my family.’”

Even as our world seems divided into allies and “axes of evil,” Tutu reminds us that in God’s family there are no enemies. “Black and white, rich and poor, gay and straight, Jew and Arab, Palestinian and Israeli, Roman Catholic and Protestant, Serb and Albanian, Hutu and Tutsi, Muslim and Christian, Pakistani and Indian” are all members of God’s family.

Even George Bush and Saddam Hussein are brothers. As daily, the casualty counts go up in Iraq, Tutu reminds us, “In war, we keep score of our casualties and their casualties to see who is winning. God only sees His dead children.”

Capturing timeless and universal concerns that reverberate throughout the world now more than ever, God Has A Dream helps us to create a world transformed through hope and compassion, humility and kindness, understanding and forgiveness.

 

GOD HAS A DREAM
A Vision of Hope for Our Time
By Desmond Tutu

Published as an Audio Book by Maui Media
April 1, 2004
ISBN 0975263102/$24.95/Audio Book/4 CDs
Contact: James Jacobson, 808-875-7873

Published in Hardcover by Doubleday
March 16, 2004
0-385-47784-8 / $16.95 / Hardcover / 134 pages
Contact: Kate Harris, 212-782-9798; kaharris@randomhouse.com

 

About the author:

Desmond Tutu, recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984, retired as Archbishop of Cape Town, South Africa, in 1996. President Nelson Mandela then named him as Chairman of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, the organization charged with bringing to light the atrocities of apartheid in South Africa and achieving reconciliation with former oppressors. He is active as a lecturer throughout the world.

 

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